When You Find Me
can't you see
that when I find you
I find me
Something didn't feel right.
Kate Beckett woke with an ominous feeling hovering a little too close. She tried to shake it off along with the heavy duvet.
Though it had been months since she resigned from the force, her instincts were still just as sharp. Cole Maddox was still out there after all. She never forgot that.
She looked down at the man next to her, his face slack, arms hugging his pillow as he slept soundly on his stomach. A smile found its way to her lips, tugging at the corners of her mouth. Bad feeling or not, this was good. So good. She pressed that smile against his shoulder blade, eliciting a incoherent grumble from Castle as he burrowed further into the bed.
Kate untangled her legs from his and the warm sheets, carefully lifting herself from the mattress. He was not a morning person. She learned that quickly. And no matter how hard he had tried over the summer to "retrain" her to sleep in with him, she still woke early. As she padded quietly to the bathroom, she snatched his discarded button-down from the floor, sliding it on.
She decided to get coffee before showering. Her toes curled against the cold floor of the kitchen, goosebumps rising across her bare legs. September was proving to be especially cool this year. The loft was draped in soft morning sun, and eerily quiet as she flipped on Castle's ridiculously expensive coffee machine.
Even after half a cup of premium caffeine Kate still couldn't shake that feeling. It was sitting heavy in her stomach. She frowned, brows furrowing, mind searching for some reason. Maybe it was the party tonight. She thought she felt fine about it, a little excited actually. Black Pawn was throwing a launch party for Frozen Heat tonight and she was going, with Castle. As his date. Officially.
Her stomach rolled. OK. She was a little nervous. So far, their relationship had only been theirs. Aside from his mother, daughter, and her father no one knew. And she liked it that way. Just them. But, a few weeks ago, when he shyly asked her, she couldn't say no. She didn't really want to. Still, there were going to be a lot of cameras and press there. She tried to will the nerves back. It would be fine. He'd be right there next to her, like always.
Kate double checked Alexis' school schedule as she grabbed the creamer from the fridge, making sure the teen wouldn't be dropping by. Although they had slowly formed a friendship over the summer, Kate doubts Alexis would appreciate catching her wearing so little. Since Alexis was otherwise occupied for the next couple hours with a biology lab, Kate decided to make breakfast.
She gathered the fixings for pancakes, spinning around his kitchen with familiarity. Which reminded her that at some point today she needed to go back to her place. They had just got back from the Hamptons yesterday and she needed to do laundry, check to make sure nothing was growing in her fridge. Maybe she'd even go back there to get ready for tonight, make him pick her up like a proper date. He'd love that. She smiled, cracking an egg into the bowl.
As Kate poured batter onto the hot skillet she felt his eyes settling on her. She turned to find him leaning against the bookshelves, watching her. He smiled, making his way toward her. She brought her attention back to the pancakes, trying not to burn them. Castle didn't need anymore fuel for that fire.
"Morning," he mumbled, still groggy, voice rough.
"Hey, you're up early," she mused.
He crowded into her, boxing her in against the counter, arms snaking around her waist.
"Bed was cold," he murmured against her neck, sending a shiver down her spine and nearly buckling her knees. She brought a hand up, threading her fingers through his hair, bracing herself. He squeezed her hip and placed a smacking kiss to her cheek.
As she piled the pancakes between two plates, Castle refreshed her coffee while pouring himself a cup. They sat huddled together at the counter, bare legs intertwined. Castle had apparently only paused long enough to put on boxers, taking full advantage of both his mother and daughter being gone. She didn't mind. At all.
He glanced sideways at her, smirking, catching her checking him out. She just shrugged, kissed the corner of his mouth.
"So, what are we doing today?" Castle asked as she got up to clear their plates.
"At some point, I need to go back to my apartment. I was thinking you could just pick me up from there tonight."
"Like a date?" Castle said, giddy. She could already see him plotting. She smiled softly, nodding.
"Like a date."
He grinned, pulling her by his shirt with soapy hands. She wrapped her arms around him, hands tracing the muscles of his back, leaning into him. He sweetly kissed her. She lifted up onto her toes, meeting him and forcing his mouth open, slipping inside. He groaned, tightening grip on her.
They were interrupted by a loud knock. They both froze, turning their gazes to the front door. Kate pushed Castle off, pulling down the hem of his shirt, trying to hide the fact that she wasn't wearing any pants behind the island. She watched as Castle took a deep breath and crossed the room to see who in the hell would be here so early.
Kate busied herself, wiping down the counter, trying not to draw attention to herself.
"Ryan," Castle yelped, causing Kate to fumble the bowl she was holding. She dropped quickly to the floor, hoping, praying that she wasn't seen. What in the hell was he doing here?
Castle scrambled to hide himself behind his door, wishing he had put on more clothes this morning. Damnit.
"Castle," Ryan said, eyebrows raised, a slightly amused expression on his face. "Am I interrupting something?"
Yes. You're always interrupting something.
"Nah," he drawled, "w-what are you doing here?"
"Can I come in?" Ryan asked.
"Uh..." Castle turned and quickly scanned the room for Kate. She seemed to have escaped to...somewhere. "Yeah, sure. Come on in."
Castle moved aside, letting the detective in, motioning for him to sit on the couch.
"I'm just gonna, uh, yeah," he mumbled, pointing toward his bedroom. "I'll be right back."
He walked quickly through his office and into his bedroom.
"Kate," he hissed. He looked around the room and stuck his head into the bathroom finding them empty. Huh. Maybe she's in the laundry room? She wouldn't have made it up the stairs without Ryan seeing her.
He quickly threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, stumbling back out into the living room. The amusement had been wiped from Ryan's face. Castle's stomach dropped. Something happened...
"Kevin, where's Javi?" He asked, nearly choking.
"What? Oh, he's still suspended. He'll be back next week," he explained. Castle sighed in relief, dropping into the chair that sat perpendicular to Ryan.
"What's going on then?"
"Have, have you heard from Beckett?" Ryan asked, tentatively. A sound came from the kitchen, like someone bumped into a cabinet. So, that's where she was. Ryan had better hurry up and get to the point.
"Uh, no she hasn't called me lately." It was true enough. She'd been with him, no need to call. Ryan nodded, apparently believing him. "What's going on?" Castle asked again, trying to catch the detective's eyes. Ryan was twisting his hands, face grim. "Ryan."
"Sorry. I don't know-we caught a case yesterday, early. A woman, young, blonde, and strangled."
Castle swallowed hard, his head spinning.
No. Not now. Not Tyson.
"Are you sure it's him?"
Castle turned, Kate was standing now, still only in his shirt staring intently at Ryan. Ryan coughing, turned shocked eyes to Castle and then back to Beckett. Castle dropped his head into his hands, pushing his fingers into his eyes sockets.
Ryan sighed, heavily.
"Yeah, I'm sure."